LinkedIn is a powerful Social Media platform, and something up until now at Bizzebee we’ve not really spoken a great deal about. So I thought today would be a good opportunity to break that habit, and take a little look at how you can increase your LinkedIn page following.
Before I say anything, I want to share a video with you, Its from the official LinkedIn YouTube Channel, and talks about how to post an update within your company page on the site.
A Powerful tool don’t you agree?
So we need some quick fire ways to get people following your company on LinkedIn – Yes another site you can now engage with people away from your own name, under a company ‘hat’
As a business we should all want to increase our opportunities to network with clients, prospects, colleagues, peers, suppliers, and potential employees’ right?
LinkedIn gives us the opportunity to build a well-developed presence within its platform.
Did you know there are over 2 million businesses with a LinkedIn company page? Many of which are looking for new talent/opportunities.
As with every other social networking platform you MUST build up a network of followers, otherwise the content, updates etc. will not show up in newsfeeds and be seen by people. So like you make a commitment to turn up at Facebook and Twitter everyday …. Same goes for LinkedIn – the ability for the Viral Promotion is the exact same as most others, you can share content in your personal profiles which then becomes visible to all your friends / connections / followers.
It is NOT always about having masses of followers, I know I have previously said its more about quality than quantity, particularly if you are a business start-up / small business / SME. You want the most relevant people in your network following so they will share out to their subscribers. If you build this steadily the numbers can and often do increase quickly!
Top 5 Tips to increase your company page following:
Encourage existing employees, relatives and friends to link up with your company page share the status updates, and various links.
Follow company pages of those in your industry, suppliers, experts, customers, prospects – most of the time people generally follow back – something about the courtesy of it, having good manners and generally being polite! You don’t need to stay pigeon holed in following your industry; you can follow those geographically near to you too even if they are in a completely separate niche / industry.
Send An Announcement – Don’t be frightened to email your connections on LinkedIn. ALWAYS provide 2/3 concrete benefits as to WHY someone should follow your page …. Remember people have the WII-FM mentality (What’s in it for me) so think ‘What will they get out of it?’ ‘How can it help them to be better at what they do?’
Consider sending that same ‘Call to Action’ message to your existing database of customers & prospects, especially if you know they are using LinkedIn.
Post a ‘Call to Action’ to follow your page within relevant LinkedIn groups
Remember! The more relevant a follower you have for your LinkedIn company page, the more opportunities you have to be seen and build that all important influence with your target markets!
There is a whole host of information and areas that we need to cover when it comes to LinkedIn and in due course you can expect to see a lot more discussions happening on our blog which focus on the different aspects of the platform.
Today I wanted to share some fun Facebook tips that I believe most small businesses should try and incorporate with their Facebook marketing.
I am going to use one wonderful example by showing you what Mark the Van Man Lincoln regularly does and I can tell you that many of his posts have me and my better half laughing.
Unlike other local businesses like Cake Makers or Furniture makers Mark cannot share pictures of recent products he has made or has for sale because what he has to sell is his service of van hire and delivery.
Sharing pictures of your products is a great way to get people to know more of what you do but what do you do if you do not have any products to show? You need to become more creative and have fun.
I can tell you that we have used Mark to deliver a couple of sofas for us which we bought on eBay and he will be our first choice if we need anything big delivering again and that is because we ‘Know of him’. Yes we now ‘know him’ from using him but what I mean by ‘know of him’ is that his name and services are securely ‘lodged in the front of our minds’ because of his Facebook posts and interaction.
If anyone asked me if I could recommend someone who can move furniture or deliver large items I would point them towards Mark Van Man Lincoln because he is the first person I would think of, I know him, I know what he does and I know how I or anyone can get hold of him easily.
Mark has fun with Facebook and he engages with people in fun ways and he has also shown me a great way to use business cards today. You might think that business cards are last year’s business accessory that are no longer viable today and that Facebook and Twitter are the way forward and they are to a degree but Mark has gone one step further and created a guerilla marketing approach to using both business cards and social media with the strategies from https://the-indexer.com/digital-marketing-agencies/.
As you will see from these images Mark places business cards in the strangest places and sometimes popular places, he then takes photos with his smart phone and uploads them to Facebook. Often they will have a funny comment attached or maybe he will ask people to ‘Spot the card?’
Cards appear on buses, in shop windows and even supermarket bunting.
I love this one of his local shop keeper; he has appeared more than one.
Supermarkets and shops are his favourite targets. It took ages to choose the pictures for this post as there are so many great examples and I apologise if I have gone overboard with them but I need to share this great idea of business card bombing. You can see more of his marketing style here Facebook/VanManLincoln
Mark has posted cards and gone back days later to see that they have been untouched and still where he left them. This is good because the person buying a burger at Burger King, chicken and fries from KFC or anything from Tesco might see his details and that is great exposure for a local small business but even better it gives him another fun photo opportunity.
Mark also uses Facebook’s Place’s system to ‘check in’ and post status updates saying where he is going and what he is doing which shows how far he is prepared to travel and I know that he travels the whole of the country.
This bit is very surreal; when he delivered the sofas to us and we got chatting he told me that ‘tomorrow’s job’ had him driving down to the south coast of England towards Portsmouth. The following day on his travels down south he ‘checked in’ on Facebook that he was at Farnham Castle in Surrey, I lived and worked in Farnham and had only recently moved back from there, I know it very well and was just a little surprised at the connection. It is nothing I know but as they say… small world.
Anyway, Mark often shares status updates which show that he will travel the country and that he isn’t just locally based. He will also share photos of some of the items he delivers and where they were bought from so people can get an idea of what he is prepared to do. As you can see in the image below Mark delivered a motorbike which was brought on eBay.
Mark also adds some fun to his page by sharing part pictures of music album covers and asks people if they can guess what the album and artist was. This gets people replying and often chatting with each other.
I recently sent him a message on Facebook saying that I loved his pictures and was planning on writing an article about him; part of his answer was that he just wants to have fun with his posts.
This I believe is needed today; too many people are posting ‘woe is me’ style posts which are depressing and moaning. Many are posted simply in the hope to solicit compliments or the offer of help or company from friends. This usually works for a few times then just gets plain annoying with friends eventually ignoring these types of ‘Bat Signals’ as I call them and in some severe cases people will hide the posts from certain friends or even unfriended them.
Mark knows full well that fun and helpful is the way forward, we got to know about his Van Man services when my better half was looking for a sofa in the local Facebook ‘things to buy and sell’ groups. Mark often goes in and comments on the bigger items that are being sold. For example we saw him commenting on a sofa saying that if anyone needed it being delivered then he was your person.
Sofas are big and not everyone has a vehicle that can take big items. I myself have a Fiat Doblo which has a big boot, it can take so much but we certainly cannot fit a large sofa in it. We eventually found a great deal on eBay and bought two 3 seater sofas with a large pouffe. We just knew who to contact to arrange collection and delivery of the item from Lincoln to Gainsborough which is roughly 16-18 miles away.
Mark is pretty busy in these local groups, he will share posts that he thinks he can help with such as larger items and he will also share things he sees when out and about. For example he has taken pictures of furniture in shops that are drastically reduced to clear.
People may want a new wardrobe and cannot afford the full asking price but if it has 75% off then they might be interested and if they do not have a car big enough to collect the item… who posted the information? Van Man Lincoln… and what does he do? He has a van which will easily accommodate a large wardrobe. What a great way to drum up possible business.
Mark has embraced the modern mobile phone, we can take pictures and uploaded them to social media networks within seconds which is fantastic and something many smaller local businesses should be utilising. I have taken a leaf out of Mark’s book and recently took photos of my uncle and I fitting some doors. As I am a trained carpenter and joiner I gave him a hand for the day and I took pictures of various stages as we worked.
I cannot say whether this will result in generating more work for my uncle but it took me a few seconds to do and it is free advertising, why would we not want to utilise that? The post resulted in getting likes and comments from friends and family living overseas within minutes. I don’t need to tell you how powerful that is.
Only last night I was asked if I was back in the building trade because someone had seen that I was working with my uncle. That conversation had come about from those pictures. It works and again I must stress it is free to do and takes only a few seconds to share pictures from a phone.
Remember Facebook is ideal for creating local networks as it is Geo specific, it gives us a fantastic free tool for networking with people allowing us to show what services we offer, why would you not want to utilise that? Doing it in a fun and light-hearted way just like Mark the Man with a Van from Lincoln does will benefit you greatly.
Mark appears to always be busy, he doesn’t just rely on social media, he does use flyers and business cards as you can see but I am sure his use of Facebook helps him a lot. Especially to connect with clients, that is one thing you cannot do very well with a business card unless someone rings you.
One thing I will say as I draw this to a close, Mark will reply and contact you if you contact him and that is what social media is about. Last week I contact our local vets through Facebook and have so far not had a reply, if you insist on using Facebook use it properly. Do not post pictures of your business services or products without any fun, personality or more importantly… any response to people who comment or contact you otherwise you will cause your business a lot of harm.
If you have a small local offline business then I suggest you start to use Facebook the same way Mark does and embrace the free advertising it can offer in a fun way.
After sending Mark a copy of this post and telling him I was going to publish it I got this excellent reply in seconds which I think just sums up Mark, social media, mobile phone technology and what a great age we live in today! 🙂
If you do implement any of the things you have read here today we would love to hear from you if you had any benefits and successes from it.
Enough is a great word isn’t it? It means not too little and not too much. We say things like, “just enough for…” or “make sure there is enough” We the bizzebee team talk regularly about how great social media can be for small businesses especially for building brand awareness and informing the local community of what you do, where you are and any special promotions you are running but we also must warn of the dangers of overdoing it.
If you look closely at Facebook and Twitter you will see that there are all sorts of people and groups bombarding their followers constantly with pictures and messages, some are interesting but most of the time it is just ‘chatter’.
If you imagine social media is a huge football stadium full of shouting people, all shouting different things, it is believed that you need to shout louder to be noticed. This might work to a degree, but in truth, you are doing nothing more but adding to the annoying and undecipherable noise pollution.
The reason many people/businesses post a lot is that these social media networks are huge resources of free traffic, they are also social so fun and interesting stuff can be shared potentially leading to some posts going viral meaning more traffic. Also more importantly these newsfeeds are fast, they can soon be filled up with new stories and status updates meaning yours could soon be lost in the ‘chatter’ and pushed further down the feed with very few people actually seeing it.
Again it is assumed that most people have a fairly big list of Pages or people they follow so their newsfeeds are soon filled with new information and all businesses and people need to be seen. With Twitter people follow thousands of people so it doesn’t take long before a Tweet is replaced by another.
Facebook is slightly different to Twitter, they do not show you all of the posts that are shared from the Pages you follow, they generally show those you interact with more but again these posts can soon be lost so it has become common practice for many to share a new post, Tweet or status every hour or so. This is ok but it can soon ‘cheese off’ a lot of people.
For example, my better half is a keen ‘pruner’ of stuff on Facebook, more so than the average person but she can soon become fed up with the constant posts by Pages of ‘nothing’ as she calls it. She has Fibromyalgia and M.E. and once followed a Page dedicated to the subject mainly to get new information. It wasn’t long before she hid it from her newsfeed due to the constant posting of images with quotes on them and the constant complaining and moaning from other sufferers.
She doesn’t like to complain and would rather find a solution or soldier on with a smile but even the constant sharing of positive and uplifting images and quotes becomes annoying when your news feed is awash with them.
Imaging if you liked only 80 Pages and Facebook with their odd system showed you the posts of 40 of them, those 40 Pages posted a new status update every hour over the 8 hour working day. Your newsfeed would be filled with 320 images and posts about ‘stuff’ each and every day. And then there will be all of the posts from your friends and family.
The problem gets worse when you realise that Facebook is open to the world and Page owners know this so they schedule posts to go live every hour of the day to cover different time zones. That would be 960 posts over the period of a day if those 40 Pages all posted every hour!
Your newsfeed will be crammed with images, videos and texts from around the world and it won’t be long before you start ‘pruning’ your list of Liked pages. And to be honest who can blame you?
Building a company brand, building exposure and trying to keep in the ‘limelight’ is ok but do it too much and it can be very damaging.
Twitter is often used to share news, articles and inspirational quotes by others which again is fine but these will soon be lost in all of the chatter. I at times get fed up with social media because when you are working with it daily you get exposed to a lot of ‘noise & chatter’ and it can be very off putting and depressive.
I have often finished a week thinking I could just walk away from it all and never look back.
So I advise you to think carefully about how much you post and what you post, many of the bigger reputable marketers and small businesses use Twitter more as an international text message service where they will broadcast some news of a promotion and then interact and chat with people.
Some companies use it as a service help desk, I have chatted to my broadband provider over Twitter and had issues sorted by them there and then. I have chatted to friends and fellow bizzebees using Twitter, people start worldwide debates using Twitter and the #hastag system.
The screenshot above is from the national Australian political debates known as #qanda (Questions and Answers)
Twitter is a great tool for conversation and interaction and using it correctly in my opinion is often down to ‘less is better’. My only big issue with Twitter is I say a lot or at least have long worded sentences and need more characters; I never have enough which is why a lot of people use Twitter to post a lot of one liners and quotes due to character restraints.
It can be annoying seeing Tweets and RTs of articles or quotes that are shared for the sole purpose of trying to ‘be seen’.
I have started to play the ‘Hoax Quotes Game’ on Twitter these days just to see if a quote I have made up gets shared by someone who has only half read it. Just today I shared a quote by cartoon character Stewie Griffin to see if anyone notices.
Believe me when I say it is likely people will not notice it because it has become the norm to share pap that people simply ignore, it blends into the rest of the chatter.
Facebook allows more words and characters with a comments system that in my opinion is easier to follow conversations with however Facebook have a terrible system of deciding what posts are seen and by whom based on who has interacted with each other.
If you have Liked a post, shared a post or commented on a post from a specific Page or person then you will more likely be shown more by them because Facebook deem it to be more relevant to you. If you Like a page or make a friend with someone but do not do any interaction then eventually they will stop showing you any posts they make which is just crap in my honest opinion. I often like to see stuff without having to like, share or comment. I know it is hard to believe but I am actually quite a quiet and reserved guy with little to say. 🙂
However even with Facebook’s terrible system I would still advise that you try and not share too much too often and I would limit the images and positive quotes to a few now and then because people will get fed up of seeing them. (If they are the lucky few who see them!) And instead of your business or website name being etched on the back of their brain as you first hoped with your branding attempts you will instead be seen by eyes suffering with the Facebook equivalent to ‘snow blindness’ or even worse, be un-Liked or hidden from view.
I think personally the motto is share less, share quality, and converse more. These tools are free; they can be very powerful and have saved many local businesses from going bust. Use them wisely and try to remember, sometimes ‘Less Is More’
Good Morning to you all, your resident Queen Bee is back at the reigns today for another snippet of Social Media gold dust for you all to digest.
As a child, my teachers, my parents even my extended family members always used to tell me to slow down …. Life isn’t a race! (Still not sure I agree) However, the tale of the Hare & The Tortoise has always stuck with me, mainly because of the famous saying “Slow & Steady Wins The Race”
There are a lot of people in Social Media who know this statement to be very true (the entire team at Bizzebee being one collective), and personally the more I learn about how social media works through my different connections and people I work with the more I realise it really is true!
Have you ever felt like a kid in a candy shop?! I did when I was first introduced to all this Social Networking – and I’m pretty sure that I’m not the minority here either!
Wanting to be on EVERY social networking site, writing on walls of all your friends, tweeting your favourite people, tagging photos, post micro blogs, and follow pretty much everyone we come across.
In the short term this will work as a ‘strategy’ but to sustain for the long term is not so realistic. Especially if you are handling a lot of clients and that responsibility for them grows, or your own business online presence really does start to take off with social media.
It’s natural to want to take it all on, but it’s virtually impossible to do it without burning yourself out quickly*take my word for this PLEASE; I was one of those people who did it all and spent 15 hours a day on my laptop!!*
So what steps can you take to ensure you finish this ‘Race’ without running out of steam?
I’ve got 5 steps I want to run through with you (imagine now I’m your pacemaker, remember we don’t want to run out of steam before finishing the race!)
Never Forget Your Goals – It is very easy to get distracted, especially by looking at what your competitors are doing. Some of these may have a bigger, louder presence than you – don’t let that put you off what you are doing. It’s ok for people to be doing different things. Stick to your goals and work harder and smarter to achieve them.
Evaluate & Re-Evaluate Your Social Media Platforms – It can be fun and exciting to put yourself or your client on every social platform, it is very unlikely that every platform is right for either you or your client. This is why you must monitor your audience interactions on the different social networks, so that you can decide which ones work best for you / your client, and then not waste time on the rest. Personally I think it’s best to focus on a couple of key platforms with success rather than be engaged in all and only giving 50%.
Quality not Quantity – Understanding this is probably one of the hardest steps you will take! Not all relationships online will be beneficial to you. You need to understand that some relationships WILL be one sided, some will take from you, without you getting anything in return. No matter how many followers, fans, friends or connections you have if they are not in line with your business philosophies, it may be time to get rid of them from your networks. It really is about quality tuned in connections rather than LOTS of uninterested ones!
Pace Yourself – Remember ‘slow and steady wins the race’ Whether you are managing your business, starting your business or someone else’s, if you lose a few followers or ‘Likes’ because you are not always updating your twitter or posting content on your Facebook page, then they weren’t very loyal to begin with. It is far better and important (in my opinion) to establish lasting relationships with fewer followers than superficial meaningless ones with lots of people.
Dust Yourself Off & Try Again– Not every Social Media campaign will pick up at the rate you expect it will. Not every tweet will get 50 retweets or 50 likes on Facebook. That is ok – don’t’ be afraid to try or experiment. If something does not work, then just try something different. People using social media have short attention spans, in 22 hours and 51 minutes they will have forgotten what you said anyway.
At the end of the day, social media is a means to an end, but if you can stick to your goals, work hard, pace yourself and not be afraid of failure there is a high chance you will succeed in this ‘marathon’ and you might even score a medal! (Metaphorically speaking)
As your online help to success, Bizzebee understand more than most, often we are all juggling one or two different things at any one time – so I highly advise you to head on over to our Hive, and grab your 30 day FREE access to our training library 🙂
Afternoon Colony 🙂 Your resident Social Media Queen Bee is back in control of this post today, whilst trying to decide what to write today’s piece about so many things crossed my mind, but instead I’ve decided to focus on some REAL nuggets of information that will help you out a lot with your Social Media marketing.
“I’ve learned so much from my mistakes I’m thinking about making some more”
For some traditional marketers out there, Social Media can seem a scary place to be – as some of these mistakes can actually turn into a Public Relations nightmare, but in today’s online, connected world we live in these things can happen, so the SMART thing to do would to actively be a part of the conversation, engage with people because it will be too late to try and build your network once a problem has arisen.
7 Common Social Media Mistakes …… And HOW to Avoid Them
1) A Lack of RESPECT towards others on social media platforms. Who would have thought this, Social Media runs on the old fashioned ‘Good Manners’ …. It’s true, just like in those old mafia-esque films like The Godfather – the old fashioned values stick. Just because you work for a global brand / company does not mean those people in your social media networks will automatically listen to you. Think like a ‘customer/follower’ (if you’re involved in social media, you’ve been a customer, listening right?!) Remember they are thinking ‘WIIFM’ (What’s in it for me?) You might also want to note, that by just ‘tweeting’ them with special offers may not cause them to pay attention for any longer than making the purchase.
How do you avoid this –BY LISTENING TO YOUR CUSTOMERS / PROSPECTS AND WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ACROSS THE VARIOUS PLATFORMS. Be active in this, and where possible respond / engage where appropriate. It is VERY helpful to deliver some level of customer service to your clients via social media sites – so be prepared to build this into your social media activity.
2) Using ROBOTIC / TECHNICAL Corporate Jargon on social media platforms. PEOPLE BUY INTO PEOPLE, therefore social media requires a human presence. If people don’t believe there is a person behind the tweets / updates / pages then you are doing your business | product | service a severe injustice. Broadcasting messages only about your products / company repeatedly causes people to switch off. Me, Me, Me constantly is how a lot of marketers miss the boat in the social media world.
How do you avoid this –Before you start pushing out your business orientated messages, spend some time LISTENING (oh look it’s that word again!) to the conversation your network of people are having. Realise that there are many dimensions to what things people talk about, and understand that they are talking about many different things all at once. Constant messages that would of only be interest to those inside your world / business will not generate interest from your followers and lack power across all the platforms. You MUST participate in the conversations happening around you, People buy into People so always be thinking ‘How can I help/ what can I give?’ It makes you sound Human (which is exactly what we all are at the end of the day!)
3) ‘Buy My Product, Buy My Product’ There is NOTHING WORSE than a pushy salesperson – we’ve all experienced this haven’t we? It makes you want to walk quickly in the opposite direction. The exact same principle applies in social media, and infact it’s probably worse within social media, because your first encounter with someone isn’t a face to face one, it’s a virtual one. By pushing your sales message straight on people you’ve only just (virtually) met proves you do not understand how social media platforms work.
How do you avoid this –Change your tactics on social media platforms. You can opt for a ‘deal of the day’ or an ‘offer of the week’ or even a platform specific promotion –i.e. to get 25% off your first order just quote ‘Twitter25’ over the phone. And show these updates ONCE a day, and for every ONE self-promoting / company message you should make at least 10 messages to your prospects / customers offering help, advice & value.
4) Build a following for one campaign. Without fully understanding the time and effort involved to keep your social media going forwards, some marketers (or people in charge of social media within a company) may just build a following based on one campaign, without thinking about how to keep them active and interested once that is over. US Basketball player Lebron James did exactly this, built up a following / created interest around which team he was going to join in July 2010, and instead of providing fans and followers with reasons to support his decision, he seriously pi**ed them off.
How do you avoid this –Start by understanding the relationship nature of social media. Getting engagement for a one-time promotion = customers taking your deal and then leaving. Instead USE this promotion to build long standing relationships with your prospects. Create an action plan for on-going interaction/marketing with them, as this will be what turns prospects into paying customers.
5) Forgetting to incorporate your brand into your social media. Businesses work hard to establish and grow their brand right from the word go. Branding should therefore be an integral part of your social media interactions. Including pages, interactions, conversations and content. It runs much deeper than just a company logo avatar, and colour co-ordinating pages to match that of your business’s
How do you avoid this – EXAMINE your company from the inside out, think about how you will portray your company identity in your social media interactions. Social Media is about CONTENT and SHARING … A good idea is to look at case studies within your business and consider using those.
6) Employ a student who knows about Facebook. Naturally it can be attractive to hire someone who is young, enthusiastic and understands social media to handle this for your brand / company. BUT it kind of overlooks the importance you are placing on your company. Experience and maturity are required to really understand your business and most importantly the public. People take social media seriously, so you should be prepared to put your best foot forward.
How do you avoid this –To the people you want to reach you must show that your business is serious about social media, you do this by having employees that know your company / products/ business / branding running your social media activity. Provide them with the training that gives them the skillset to do so, create a social media policy which educates them how to represent your business correctly AND what to do as private citizens of these social media platforms.
7) Are you invisible in your social media activity? Social Media requires a level of ‘putting yourself out there’ this does not mean you need to divulge information on your competitive edge to others, nor does it mean you need to advertise your financial statements. But your target market and prospects will want to know where you stand and what you’re up to, so a level of transparency is very much needed.
How do you avoid this –BE TRANSPARENT (when required) don’t just open up a social media account and just hide in the shadows watching everything going on around you. Create a good profile that best represents your business and shows off your point of view. Make sure your representatives are trained in social media and that they understand your business, so that they can hang out on social media platforms engaging with your prospects with a level of transparency, without giving away all your corporate secrets.
Those are my 7 top tips there covered, we are all going to make mistakes when it comes to Social Media. It moves at such a vast pace and is constantly evolving; there is no way to guarantee (even with the best laid marketing plans) that you won’t face problems.
The important thing here is to be prepared to respond in the world that now seems to be running 24/7 and how to handle the communication publicly. For further information and online training, then we have “The Hive” which is our members only online learning portal for you to really understand all aspects of running your business online – which if you haven’t already done so, head on over and get your 30 day free trial!
Another week and another post from me. Social Media is really my area of expertise, so for the foreseeable future from me, I am going to really try and connect with you all and focus my blog posts on this one area.
An area that covers a multitude of sins however, there is absolutely LOADS that falls under the Social Media hat, which actually links really well with today’s post – something I spend a lot of time talking to people about.
Where Do I Need To Be?
Before I get into the swing of this post, I want to say, whilst this will only take a few minutes to read, the actual process itself can take a lot longer (in some cases 4-6 weeks isn’t unreasonable) knowing where you need to be on social media platforms is actually a lot more involved that you would initially think (most people’s kneejerk reaction is “everywhere”)
Believe me, there is absolutely NO point in just signing up to all the sites (off the top of my head) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr, Bebo, MySpace, Foursquare, EBlogger, Google+, YouTube: Could you imagine trying to successfully manage all those accounts AND get the most out of them?!
There is a process each and every one of us should go through to decide which is right for us. Let me explain this to you by talking you through how I started using social media to promote my business.
My offline (family) business is in Print & Graphic design and I wanted raise our brand awareness, show people the services we offer, our expertise on problems people might be having with design issues or just generally understanding the importance of printed marketing materials for their business.
I started off by looking at where my market is by searching Google, Facebook, Twitter Search, YouTube and niche specific forums to discover and investigate my target audience, I was hanging out with people interested in print, who knew about print and more importantly who were buying print. LinkedIn also proved to be a great tool, as there were so many groups with active discussion boards in my niche, and there were a lot of geographically local groups I could join where people were connecting, offering services, talking about services.
I then studied what our competitors were doing – on their corporate websites and their social networks, this is a great tool as I got to see what was and wasn’t working for them. I was getting actively involved in the networks / circles they were a part of (because let’s face it, people in them were potential customers for me) and believe it or not, I even started to ask people questions (if you don’t ask you don’t get, right?!)
It was by doing these 2 simple tasks over a period of a few weeks, interacting with my target audience I was beginning to see EXACTLY what I needed to do in order to become a go-to person in the print and design area. The other really clear thing was that I didn’t need to be active on every single social networking site in existence.
By monitoring the above mentioned areas I started with you get a feel and quickly where your target market is most active. By a simple process of elimination with the Market research I’ve carried out I knew I needed to be active on:
Facebook: I needed to start a page, where I can upload content, showcase work, post of exclusive offers, run giveaway competitions and get my friends to help me with viral promotion. Invite questions, comments and post links to articles and blog posts related to print and design that other people would find of value
Twitter: For the sheer fact I could search in real-time incidentally enough Twitter is where I had my first ‘sale’ through social media marketing and I continue to this day in making connections and getting new clients just by conversing 140 characters at a time! Posting links, offering referrals, re-tweeting BEING HELPFUL!
LinkedIn: Because I can connect with industry professionals who can be of help to me, who have more expertise than me, who I can learn more from. And in turn I can build up a strong network of contacts with more detail than I can with twitter and Facebook. The power of the LinkedIn discussion boards is phenomenal. (I highly recommend you look at one in your subject area / niche – it’s like a load of experts in one place offering real inside information and opinions)
Now whilst I appreciate I’ve discussed an offline business here, I also carry out the exact same procedure with my online (this) business. There is so much expert help out there, and there are so many people who are in need of useful help and guidance that I am always carrying out on-going market research to make sure bizzebee are engaging with people in the best places online to carry on being of VALUE.
Whatever your niche / subject area, you can do exactly what I did above to make sure you connect with the right people on the right social networks! There may not be a ‘One Size Fits All’ strategy but believe me if you look hard enough you will find your unique way of sharing and connecting your content with your audience!
Our Bizzebee Hive is an excellent portal for those people who often sit there wondering “where do I need to be?” There are MANY guides and training materials to help you understand your online marketing journey, have you had a chance to check it out yet?
Youtube is BIG business, and before I started working on this Bizzebee project, especially The Hive, YouTube actually scared me. My business is to educate people with Social Media, and for a VERY long time I avoided utilising Youtube like the plague, which is kind of my motivation for writing and sharing this post with you all today.
It has taken a LOT for me to get over the whole ‘how do I look, how do I sound’ scenario, which without a doubt is the single most common problem I think as humans we all face when putting ourselves on the internet in video format. However, YouTube is SO powerful for marketing yourself and products that anyone who is serious about taking their business online, can’t afford to not get involved.
As consumers we all love Youtube, how many times have you been sent a video clip of something funny via email? Or listened to a song that brings back memories of summer holidays? Or how many times have you shared a video on your Facebook timeline or your Twitter feed? And how often have you wanted to find out HOW to do something – that after a few minutes of watching a video, you’ve found the answer? EXACTLY ….. we all know and love YouTube!
Each and every one of us can use YouTube to market our businesses …. Yes that’s right I said OUR business’s (it’s not just for the big corporate, branded companies) We can all take advantage of this hugely powerful platform and incorporate video into our company marketing / branding strategies.
BUT you need a good video in order to draw traffic (people) to your website after they have finished watching. Don’t panic (I’m saying this because I was panicking when I realised this but had no idea how to make a GOOD video or what even constitutes a good video)
Creativity and Professionalism – these are probably the 2 most obvious, but there are some other factors should probable be taken into consideration also!
Friend or Foe? Queen Bee’s Top 5 YouTube Tips For A Newbie
1. Someone once said to me ‘It’s Better To Stand Out Than To Fit In’ and this saying has stuck with me for a LONG time because of how apt it is across life in general! With all of the videos out there, yours needs to stand out in the crowd so don’t be afraid to be creative!!! Use fun music, great shots, and try to find an angle that hasn’t already been done. People generally turn on to You Tube to be entertained and your video needs to be able to do this.
2. Show off your knowledge! I know that nobody likes a show off, BUT people are searching for your product / service so it’s vitally important that you are giving out THE best knowledge, or wealth of your experience! Give some tips or solutions to common problems that are associated with your particular product, business, or services. This is an informative video and the audience will like the fact that they are learning something. Try to make the tips unique enough that most people can use them but haven’t necessarily heard of them before.
3. Make your video educational. People like to learn things when they watch a video. Your perfect You Tube marketing video doesn’t have to be all about how to find your website and what the cost of your product is, you do not need to over-sell (that’s what your website is for) you need one call to action from the video, and that is to get them to click on your website!
For example, if you are advertising your car mechanics business then why not give a demonstration on how to change a tire? Or Top up the oil?! People will watch your video, learn something, and then visit your website. These how-to videos are a lot less threatening than standard commercials or advertisement that you see on television. Plus, they are entertaining.
4. Make it REAL; try adding “behind the scenes” footage in your video. You can do this by introducing your staff, introducing some customers, or even giving the audience a “behind the scenes” tour of the office, factory, or place of work. People appreciate this and it gives your product or business some authenticity. I think this is a crucial element in the whole ‘Trust Building’ between prospects and businesses. Remember PEOPLE BUY INTO PEOPLE (I know I say this a lot, but it’s true, it’s like my mantra! Ha-ha) something like this element is what could turn a prospect into a customer. Seeing really is believing after all
5. Add closed-captions to your video. Keep in mind that not everyone is able to hear and that those audience members might be the very ones that want to order your product. It’s very thoughtful to keep the hearing impaired in mind when creating a video, even a marketing video, because most people rarely do, and the last thing you want to do is alienate any prospects.
I found YouTube extremely scary when I first starting looking at it from a business marketing perspective and stopped using it to watch funny clips and listen to music. But the reality is, it’s no scarier than anything else you’ve never used before! But it can be daunting with knowing where to start.
I’m still no YouTube guru or expert – well infact even if I was on the level of Casey Zeman, I still wouldn’t call myself an expert – however, I am learning more and more each day with it, and in the end I had to get over my own insecurities, have a little faith and take the plunge!
The team here at Bizzebee have some VERY good video marketing experts in the team – so if you have any questions or just want to talk to someone to help you with your first steps, then I would suggest you drop us a line – because thats what we are here for!
It has been a long time coming, but today is the day that we finally launch the official Bizzebee membership area – The Hive. I can’t quite express just how excited I and all the rest of the Bizzebee team are to launch today. We are all eager to see what you think of it.
What Is The Hive
Here on the Bizzebee blog we strive to provide you with great free content for you to use and learn from. That can only go so far though, which is why we wanted to create a separate area for members who want to learn even more from us.
In ‘The Hive’, members will gain access to; tutorial videos, audio files, whiteboard presentations, eBooks, vidcasts and more that we have put together for you. These will cover subjects, such as;
Social media tips,
…and much, much more!
This Is Only The Beginning!
We are all very proud to launch this membership area, but as far as we are concerned this is only the beginning! We will be adding more content to The Hive every month; we are planning on doing some exclusive Google hangouts for our members, one-on-one consultations, podcasts and more.
Our overall aim is to help you get your business up and running online and teach you how to grow it. There is an awful lot to learn along the way, but we are here to help you.
Following on from my last post I wrote, I kinda wanted to continue with some Facebook talk, especially as I am helping Brentwood Golf Club with their Social Profile setting up.
Anyone that starts out with their Social Media marketing needs to be fully aware of all their options available in order to make a go of their social media success.
Facebook is still a key player in all of this, but they have moved the goal posts, and unless you want to part with some money, it can be quite hard to really crack that nut these days.
We all know in business that we need to speculate to accumulate so it comes as no surprise that I am going to tell you that it is worth considering paid adverts if you are serious about Facebook, because there is only so far you can go for free.
Setting up your Facebook page is exciting, and you instantly think its going to be an overnight success – and sometimes when it lacks momentum it can be a little bit de-motivating when it doesn’t quite happen how you think, and often people want to give up!
Believe it or not, this is more common that you think – to be the next big ‘viral’ hit on Facebook (or ANY Social Networking site) will NOT happen overnight, we really have to work hard to get people to see this page (and realize why they need to come back and visit time and time again because its packed full of great content yeah?!)
This page needs a bit of a kick start right? This is where FACEBOOK ADScome into play …..
A lot (well pretty much all) of the information that we want to share with you is about driving traffic to your blog, website, page – and generating those all important ‘Likes’ and followers with free methods available, but make no mistake those methods really do take a lot of time and effort to work ….. They do work, but like I said with time and effort, and if you don’t have a lot of time to put in that type of effort then Facebook Ads facility might just be the key to helping you out here.
Aside from making the world a more connected place for everyone who signs up to the platform, Facebook is a business and a powerful, profitable one at that. So it makes a lot of sense that they have built a successful advertising business that allows individuals the opportunity to connect with their target market / niche.
My Top 5 Benefits / Reasons To Use Facebook Ads
Fast Results – Once you have set up your advertising account, you can create a Facebook Ad within minutes. The ad then goes over to be approved (usually approved within a few hours) and then literally in minutes you will start to get impressions, and (hopefully) subsequent LIKES and clicks on your website and facebook page.
Targeted Advertising – This is a great feature! With over 845 million users now CHOOSING to share their likes, interests, hobbies, personal data (relationship status, age, location) etc, you have the ability now to be even more specific in selecting the details of you ideal ‘prospects’ and then get your product / service right in front of their eyes on their screen!
User Friendly Display Ads – These Ads are SO easy to put together!!! One eye catching image, 135 characters of compelling copy and a killer headline or your page name and you are good to go!
Real-Time Statistics *Almost * – There is a 15 minute delay on numbers, but this means that in pretty much no time at all you will know if the ad is a winner or not.
Cost Effective * if done correctly * – As previously mentioned a lot of the free strategies do often take some time to get going with momentum and the subsequent ‘Likes’ If you traded time for money however for as little as $10 per day, you could potentially gain anywhere between 20-50 new visitors to your business page per day.
The long and the short of this is, Facebook Ads are a pretty quick and easy process for marketing, but like anything there is a risk involved with how successful this can be for anyone using it.
There are a LOT of people using Facebook in the same way as you, so you are competing with every other business out there doing the same with Ads. Whilst the ads can make you money, they can also lose you money just as quick!
The trick is to set up the ads correctly and then managing your daily balance effectively.
If you want to know more about how to go about setting up your first Facebook Ads campaign then I highly recommend that you check out our Bizzebee HIVE– because there is a wealth of experience in there and we will even be hosting webinars, along with lots of video training and downloads that will really help you unlock the enigma of Facebook Adverts.
In conclusion, There is absolutely no rules to say you can only be successful with a Facebook page or building an online following by going down the road of paid advertising, just as much as there is no rule to say it only works if you make use of all the free tools available. Both are equally as successful and relevant if done correctly.
Any questions or you want to learn more, then check out our HIVE for all you online business learning needs.
Hello Bee’s, today’s post is something I’ve written about before in a few different places, but nothing I have shared before with our Bee colony. It’s a very important Social Media tip and I thought I should probably share it in this post.
So this week I’ve been really busy with my own Clair Trebes Online projects, working on a complete social media set up for a Golf Club in Essex, UK near where I live. Part of this set up is to create a Facebook page (it’s not finished yet!!!) for them, and this tip is in relation to Facebook Pages.
Dual Admin For Your Facebook Page
Having a Facebook page is great for business – first and foremost its FREE … AND it has unlimited capability on numbers (unlike the 5000 friend limit on personal profiles) so you can potentially reach thousands (if not millions! – dream big remember) of ‘fans’.
Because of this capability and the power this can bring to your business, we are all working hard to make our pages ‘user friendly’ with content, helpful information, running promotions & generally connecting people, and any of us who are working smart with our pages knows that it takes work to keep these pages current, up to date and relevant.
It is because of this I want to talk through a few points to protect your ‘Page’
None of us are using our fan pages (well I hope you aren’t!) to spam or scam people as has previously happened in the past with some people, we are all operating within the Facebook guidelines and using our pages for GOOD business. Sometimes however people can take out a grudge, and decide to report you to Facebook. If this happens Facebook can and (and WILL) close down your PERSONAL account.
To be honest this is not the end of the world, as you can always start up a new personal account, but the main problem with this is YOU WILL LOSE YOUR PAGE & ACCESS TO IT.
Granted the page will still exist within Facebook for some time, but you will only be able to post on the wall as a ‘fan’ – which means the posts will NOT appear in the newsfeed of the people who LIKE the page. You have lost all your admin rights!
Having at least 2 page admins is a good idea – to avoid the above situation happening. I recommend you get a family member or a close friend as a page admin. As long as they are active members of facebook – interacting with their friends, posting photos etc – exactly what you would expect a personal profile to do!
People continue to set up fake profiles and pages within Facebook – which is against the Facebook guidelines. These pages / profiles that were spamming pages were being reported to Facebook, thus causing them to investigate these complaints further. And what do you think when they see that the page admins have no interaction on their personal pages?! Exactly ….. they think ‘this is a fake account’
Having dual admin access is a precautionary step you should all take incase you end up in the situation where facebook revoke access to your profile and close it down! This was you do not lose access to the page you have worked so hard on, because through the other admin business can resume (and they can re-add you as a page admin in your new profile)
When adding someone to your Facebook page as an admin, there are 2 things you need to consider.
No1 – your personal profile needs to be friends with the person you are adding (so you can’t add a stranger as page admin)
No2 – you need to set them up with “manager” access.
Rather than me give you a step by step rundown of doing this, I’ve made you a video to show you how quick and easy this is to do.
So how do you add another profile to your page as admin?